The murder of Guadalupe Campanur has caused uncertainty and anger in Cherán, Michoacán. Lupe, as she was known to friends and family, was one of the four women who, in 2011, when the Purupuche people of the region came together to defend themselves from organised crime, became part of the Community Patrol that took charge of local security. Ever since then, no inhabitant of Cherán had been murdered. However, Lupe’s body was found on the 16 January 2018. Experts determined that she had been raped and killed by at least two people.
Lupe was well-trained in self-defence and could not have been subdued by any one man, agree many of those who knew her. She wasn’t only fearless in the wild; her courage and love for her community were demonstrated in other ways, according to Genoveva Pedroza, a member of Cherán’s Council of Common Goods and one of Lupe’s best friends. “When she left the Community Patrol, she decided to keep working for the community. She helped the Council of Common Goods and did it voluntarily. On top of that, she was involved in other community activities, most recently a registry of local birds.” said Genoveva. “Whenever she accompanied the Council out on walks, our work became more enjoyable. She was trained to listen to strange things, to judge risks. She could tell how fresh a tyre track was; her support was very important to us,” she added.
“Losing her to murder is very painful, because she was one of us and, even more so, because she was a woman who fought precisely to avoid that these sorts of crimes be committed in our town, where peace and calm prevail,” said Councilman Pedro Chávez Sánchez.